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financial crisis. whether it's a big deal or a small deal, president obama will he have something to sign in time? moments ago i spoke with democratic congressman elijah cummings. listen to what he had to say about the standstill. >> there is a sense of urgency. the problem is that we've got a group of tea party folk over in the house who basically has pretty much dictated what mr. boehner can agree to. boehner, who's a good guy who wants to make a deal, he really wants to make a deal, but he can't. >> all right. head to capitol hill. there's mike viqueira standing by for us. you know something else that representative cummings said. i just said you're standing by. it seems like even when they come back to d.c. they're going to be standing by. they don't seem to have much to do in the house right now. >> reporter: that's absolutely right. don't have anything to do in the house. for now they don't have anything to do in the senate, t.j. that's the thing. harry reid, mitch mcconnell, the two democratic and republican leaders respectively in the senate got back from that big white house pow
and jeff. president obama meets with the top congressional leaders. no deal can be reached impasse without their meeting. so far the fiscal talks have been when all four of these leaders have been present. >> whether he meant it or not, it seems exhaustive. >> i mean what's going on here? >> what indeed. president obama returned to the white house in a grim mood. he met with no congressional leaders and said nothing about his efforts to avert the fiscal cliff. talks continue between senior white house and congressional staff, but that's been true throughout then tire saga. with the deadline looming there were dire predictions. >> come the first of this year, americans will have less income than they have today. >> and rekrimm nations. >> now republicans have bent over backward. we've stepped way, way out of our comfort zone. we wanted an agreement, but we had no takers. >> the senate's top democrat said it has nothing to do with phone calls but house republican obstruction. >> thehouse of representatives is operating without the house of representatives. it's being operated with a dictator
. >>> and civil liberty groups take on torture in zero dark thirty. >>> if no deal is reached, the nation will go over the fiscal cliff in a little more than five days and house republicans are doing nothing more than posturing. president obama is flying back to washington tonight from his christmas vacation in hawaii to make one last attempt to get a deal before midnight new year's eve. the senate is returning and will be in session tomorrow for the same purpose. senate majority leader harry reid is trying to determine what kind of bill he can get through the senate with limited republican support. meanwhile, governor neil abercrombie of hawaii tonight announced that lieutenant governor brian schatz is as fit to feel the seat of the passed senator daniel inouye. he will leave hawaii for washington tonight and is expected to be sworn in sometime tomorrow afternoon. the democrats are wasting no time in the event harry reid needs the vote to avert the fiscal cliff. but the house? a different story. speaker john boehner held a conference call with republican leadership today, and basically decided t
, in a few minutes a meeting will happen between president obama and congressional leaders. vice president joe biden will be there. they're trying to figure out how to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. not a lot of hope of a deal at this point but some argue because the reason is because neither side has an incentive for a deal. do you buy that theory? it's our "news nation" gut check today. you can join us. we are on facebook. there's the address. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. in what world do potatoes, bacon and cheese add up to 100 calories? your world. ♪ [ whispers ] real bacon... creamy cheese... 100 calories... [ chef ] ma'am [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. >>> there's a lot going on this last friday of 2012. here's some of the things we thought you should know. tributes continue to come in for general norman schwarzkopf and nick nated stormin' norman for that legendary temper. he died yesterday in tampa of complications of pneumonia. he's credited for the plan that drove saddam hussein's forces out of kuwait during the first gulf war. president obama sa
the bleeding. gregg: hope is fading and time is running out obviously for a fiscal deal. president obama is though meeting with congressional leaders at the white house today. it's a move that tennessee senator bob corker says feels more like optics than anything else. while several other critics claim lawmakers may actually want to go off the fiscal cliff. and in fact some have said the president wants to go off the fiscal cliff. so, can a deal be reached? juan williams is a fox news political analyst. he joins us live. mary katharine ham, editor-at-large at hotair.com and is a fox news contributor. juan, what do you think about that notion? barrasso was the first one to say it on "fox news sunday" and you were there but others have said it since that the president really does want to go over the cliff so that he can reap the benefits of all of the tax revenues that would be had by everybody's taxes going up? >> i think that is historical revisionism of a very current type. he is already trying to spin this because i think it is clear from the polls that most americans want a deal. they
-term fiscal cliff deal done. we heard president obama on friday handed what we might call a bare bones plan c ahead of january first. extension of the bush tax cuts for those making $250,000 or less and an extension of unemployment benefits. while it could be a quick turn-around from that hawaiian vacation for president obama and congressional leaders, expectations they could be back in washington later this week, all eyes now on the senate where republicans are split on whether it's possible to make a deal with the obama white house. >> the president's statement is right. no one wants taxes to go up on the middle class. i don't want them to go up on anybody. i'm not in the majority of the united states senate. he is the president of the united states. >> when i listen to the president i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. i think he sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff. he gets all this additional tax revenue for new programs. he gets to cut the military which democrats have been calling for for years. and he gets to blame republicans for
. >>> let's make a deal. president obama sitting down with top congressional leader from both parties in just hours. can they agree on something before sending the country over the fiscal cliff? >>> and holy cow. $8 for a gallon of milk? why that utterly ridiculous price could be a very real possibility today, friday, december 28th, 2012. >>> and good morning, everyone. welcome to "today" on a friday morning. i'm savannah guthrie. >> i'm willie geist in this morning. she is full of milk puns this morning. holy cow. utterly. >> what are you, lactose intolerant? >> the trifecta. >> we'll move on to the big story, which is the weather. we're bracing for another big storm before the last one is done. >> it's expected to bring a new round of travel headaches during a holiday travel weekend. how will it impact you in more on that ahead. >>> also, retired general norman schwarzkopf has died at the age of 78. he's being remembered as one of the greatest military figures in u.s. history. more on his remarkable life coming up. >>> also ahead, it happened again. a man shoved to his death in fron
. president obama said $600 billion, john boehner was going to sign the deal.n >> the problem we have now is a problem we haveld then of if he could have the votes.to the number they'v they have come to right now basically about $500 million. cost on all sides. we should be able to get a deal if john boehner can get the support and get the votesvo he wants. eric: they said no, we can't do it. >> can't wait till that is fair >> can't wait till that is fair john boehner has been doing it. just hoping for support from his colleagues. eric: are going to have to leave it there. murder have under a stateg ov department official resigning over the benghazi attacks? why does this to say he's working for the government? eric: we just got some breaking news from toyota motors, according to our friends at the "wall street journal" settled a class-action lawsuit about acceleration $1.1 billion, we will keep our eye on that stock. wthe figures outraged initially the report a spontaneous protest over at that video? wait until the critics hearsecr this. resigning his post on the attack is reportedly sti
republicans for it. >> president obama for his part said he is optimistic a deal can still be reached. he spoke at the white house friday before leaving for hawaii where he is now. but at the same time the president acknowledging there might not be time for any kind of a grand bargain. he scaled back his goals and pushing not for the big deal, but for middle class tax cut and extended benefits. a larger deal wouldn't be that hard to reach. >> what we ought to do is take speaker boehner's last offer, the president's last offer and split the difference. that would be a package of about $2.6 trillion. you couple that with the 1.1 trillion that will be done. that would be close to the $4 trillion needed to stabilize the debt and to begin to bring it down. >> and if no action is taken by the end of the year taxes go up for everybody. back to you, eric. >> we have to see. the clock is ticking. >> tick, tick, tick. more on the fiscal cliff negotiations. i am joined by congressman peter king from new york who is involved. congressman, great to have you here. >> great to be here. >> happy holidays
thing the prospects of getting a deal after january 1 are significantly higher and that is for three reasons. first now president obama has all the leverage. after january 1st the leverage shifts to the gop. because president obama perfectly going over the fiscal cliff to blame republicans because he can't default on the debt. he will have to compromise between now and february. second of all the baseline gets reset if the tax cuts expire. everybody will propose a tax cut in january and right now we're fighting whether to increase taxes or not. you can see possibility of a deal seen as win-win for both sides. third, if republicans don't come up with a deal, a bad deal right now, they still have the $800 billion in revenue they put on the table from limiting deductions and loopholes that they can use to buy down rates. so i think the odds are, after january 1 we will get a deal and it will be much more favorable deal to the republican party because we'll have the leverage and president obama won't. heather: simon, basically what mark's laid out there would be more of a bunge jump over
and signed by president obama. the idea being to make it so painful not to cut a deal on taxes and spending that they would be forced to cut a deal on taxes and spending. except keeping them honest, they haven't done it. even though they knew the stakes, they knew the deadline, and both sides promised that this time things would be different. >> we need to return to fiscal responsibility. >> how is it that we're going to be able to do that? getting our fiscal house in order. >> the american people have spoken loudly. they want us to get our fiscal house in order. >> fiscal handcuffs on this congress that are sorely needed. >> washington is beginning to get its fiscal house in order. >> so they approve legislation that gave everyone nearly a year and a half to reach a long-term agreement on spending and taxes or face truly punishing consequences if they didn't. you'll remember at the time this was a really big deal. republicans had forced the issue by refusing to raise the debt ceiling without budget cuts. markets went haywire. congresswoman gabby giffords even returned to washington from re
the obama's are from. there's a whole nother group of obama's that i'm going to deal with, probably in a more substantive way than her, in terms of where the story really comes from. it reminded me a little bit of windows during the clinton book, and what people saw was, because he said, it is in clinton's convention acceptance, a man from hope. from hope arkansas this little town in arkansas. the simplicity of the world life and, in fact, he was from hot springs, a completely different place, much more cosmopolitan and complex, and with a darker side to. the obama store, what people don't know is -- the real story of barack obama, sr. and his father takes place somewhere else, down in kendu bay, and that's where the african section of this book will start. >> final question. you want to introduce our viewers to -- [inaudible] >> leo, you could not make up. he belonged to some kind of african john rawl novel. he is 73 years old. he walks around with this menacing sort of club. he's got a deep rolling voice and laugh, and he seems to know everybody in africa. from the former presiden
for a meeting with president obama, trying to strike a deal with just four days to go. getting lost in the rhetoric are everyday americans like my next guest, she says washington needs to know how important the fiscal cliff is to those who are out of work, specifically to the 2 million americans who will lose their federal unemployment benefits an average of about $300 a week if no deal is reached. >> good morning. >> you were laid off a year ago. tell us your story. >> well, yes, i was laid off a year ago around this time in december. and i received employment so i've been trying to look for a job which has been very difficult, on the internet every day. i also tried to start my own small business in the same field, janitorial services, which the whole thing of not having any money has caused a great hardship because i'm unable now to finance my business as well or get a small business loan because i don't have a job. >> $300, i just want to jump in, i apologize for cutting you off $300 a week doesn't get you very far to the point of financing a business. how much did this cover ju
. >>> aloha means good-bye. president obama cuts his hawaiian vacation short to deal with the fiscal cliff. it is already too late? good morning, 7:00 in the east. i'm alina cho. >> and i'm drew griffin. soledad o'brien is off today. "starting point" begins right now. >>> our starting point, a cruel one. a one-two christmas punch from mother nature. tornadoes and blizzards tearing through the south and midwest. >> oh, my god. we need to go. it's right there. >> mobile, alabama, took a real beating. a twister blowing up transformers, leaving more than 25,000 customers without power. reports to damage to homes, a high school, and church. >> it came in behind the church right there, and then all green fluorescent lighting and popping transformers left and right. and we heard the crashing and everything and the power went out. >> i prayed to god as loud as i could, and i was just praying for my safety, and i knew the church was shaking. i just prayed that the church stayed put. >> here is the other half of this story, blizzard conditions blanketing much of the midwest and the northeast will ge
obama met with congressional leaders for several hours at the white house today to try to hammer out a deal before taxes go up on more than 160 million americans. after the meeting, the president presented a new plan to avoid the cliff and said he was modestly optimistic. >> we had a constructive meeting today. senators reid and mcconnell are discussing a potential agreement where we can get a bipartisan bill out of the senate over into the house and done in a timely fashion so that we met the december 31st deadline. given how things have been working in this town we have to actually wait and see until it actually happens. the one thing that the american people should not have to wait and see is some sort of action. so if we don't see an agreement between the two leaders in the senate, i expect a bill to go on the floor. and i have asked senator reid to do. this put a bill on the floor that makes sure that taxes on middle class families don't go up, that unemployment insurance is still available for 2 million people, and that lays the groundwork then for additional deficit reduction
. chuck wants us to do a deal like obama care where you bring in both sides and you think about all the -- you know, all the ideas from the republicans, all the ideas -- and then you adopt a bipartisan plan. >> did you read "the wall street journal" over the weekends? >> i did. >> boehner says i've given you $800 billion. >> what did it remind you of? >> that's some caddie shack. where spalding walks up to the shack and said i want a cheese birg, milkshake and fries. and his grandfather says, you'll get nothing and you will like it. you know what it reminds me of? elections have consequences. i won. it's not a nice tack to the center where i'm going to govern for all of you. are you coming back? >> i'm going to. >> the jacket is coming off, though, right? >> christmas eve and i'm celebrating. as you know, we had the tree going this weekend with the lights on. >> that's so nice. there's one other thing i sought on that thing over the weekend that you brought us that i was going do -- oh,no. did you see mitt romney did not want to run? >> i saw that. that was in the boston globe. that
a last-minute deal is even possible or whether this is now all about shifting blame. president obama and vice president biden are sitting down with house leaders. the guest list includes harry reid, who this time yesterday said he didn't see any way the fiscal cliff could be avoided. whatever the case, our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin will be watching. what can we really expect to come out of this meeting this afternoon? >> well, alina, we're not sure what really will come out of it. the ideal scenario would be if all sides agree to a scaled-down version of the fiscal cliff agreement that the president and spe speaker boehner had been discussing weeks ago and then senator mcconnell would agree that no republicans would block it in any way if he can promise that. he argues that he can't really make that promise but if e he could then speaker boehner would promise to bring it to a vote on the floor. all sides would shake hands and we'd have a deal before new year's. that seems highly unlikely. but that's what all sides are pushing for today. >> i think we can all agre
. looks like president obama and congressional leaders will try again tomorrow to steer us back from the fiscal cliff. more on what, if any, deal could be shaping up. >>> and keeping them honest, why avoiding economic disaster seems to be so hard to do for some of the folks in washington. [music: artist: willy moon song: "yeah yeah" label: universal] ♪ everybody well don't you know it's me now? ♪ ♪ yeah who's it, who's it huh? ♪ ♪ willy's back with a brand new beat now, ♪ ♪ yeah doin' it doin' it up! ♪ heyyy yeah, tryin' to bite my style! ♪ ♪ heyyy yeah, how you like me now? ♪ ♪ na na na na na na na na ♪ and everybody go uh! it's part of what you slove about her.essing. but your erectile dysfunction - you know, that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditi
and it's a tight spot. i suspect if there's a deal,t will be unpalatable for everyone. >> there was a interchange before the talks broke wn. we have the quotes. john boehner said to obama, quote, iut $800 billio i tax revenue on the table. what do i get for that? allegedly we understand president obama came back to him and said, you get nothing. i get that for free. you get nothing. >> there were a couple eye-opening quotes. a "wall reet journal" story before christmas that went through the timeline of how this happened between painer and the president -- boehner and the president. boehner put the rough knee on the table and the president saying that's what i get out of the gate. you get nothing for that, which was a surprise to the speaker. he said if we go over the cliff, that the president threatened boehner, he said i will use my inaugural address to blame you for tax increases and for the fiscal cliff going overboard. that brings o pretty big guns when it comes to a president's bully pulpit. if atlantes to use that to play politics, that's significant. >> i have t
spot. i suspect if there's a deal, it will be unpalatable for everyone. >> there was a interchange before the talks broke down. we have the quotes. john boehner said to obama, quote, i put $800 billion in tax revenue on the table. what do i get for that? allegedly we understand president obama came back to him and said, you get nothing. i get that for free. you get nothing. >> there were a couple eye-opening quotes. a "wall street journal" story before christmas that went through the timeline of how this happened between painer and the president -- boehner and the president. boehner put the rough knee on the table and the president saying that's what i get out of the gate. you get nothing for that, which was a surprise to the speaker. he said if we go over the cliff, that the president threatened boehner, he said i will use my inaugural address to blame you for tax increases and for the fiscal cliff going overboard. that brings out pretty big guns when it comes to a president's bully pulpit. if atlantes to use that to play politics, that's significant. >> i have to bring this up. b
doocy live in washington with more on the last-minute deal making. hey, peter. >> hey. president obama is still going to be able to squeeze in one more day of vacation in hawaii before he leaves his wife and daughters hyped and boards air force one for dc at about 10:00 p.m. in honolulu, 3:00 a.m. eastern time. that should get him back to the white house sometime tomorrow, thursday morning, on the back end of a break he says he hopes will get lawmakers on the same page. >> everybody can co- opt, drink egg nog, have christmas cookies, sing some christmas carols, enjoy the company of loved ones and then i'd ask every member of congress, while they're back home, to think about that. think about the obligations we have to the people who sent us here. >> speaker of the house, john boehner, is expected to come back to washington at any time as well. before he went back to ohio and president obama went to hawaii, they were believed to be about $400 billion apart in spending cuts and tax increases. speaker boehner even had to withdraw the so-called plan b measure in the house that would raise
on the far right, the idea that mitch mcconnell would make a deal with obama could be acceptable. you have 10 or more republican senators who say they are willing to do business with president obama in terms of approving an increase in the marginal tax rates. if that is the case, if you could get them to pass some kind of bill and then send it on to the house, and all boehner said was i will allow a vote, and you have democrats and some republicans feeling pressure joining in, you could get a bill done. host: rick is from massachusetts on our independent line. caller: good morning. i have a problem with the president. he is the most divisive individual who has come to power in this country for a long time. he completely denied his white relatives and blames all the problems on white men by buying the votes of the lower earners in this country by saying it is not your fault. he promised to bring this country to gather. what happened? guest: i am surprised. upper income people voted for president obama. what is clear and true is if you look at white men, white men are overwhelmingly the single
that to happen, it will be the most colossal consequential act of irresponsibility. >> reporter: president obama says he'll cut his vacation short to hammer out a deal with congress. the deadline now a week away. i'm andrew spencer reporting. >>> if congress face to reach the agreement income tax rates will go up on just about everyone on new year's day. unemployment benefits will expire for many as well. you may not feel the pinch right away. already too late for employers to accurately who would income taxes from those january paychecks. the social security payroll taxes are set to increase on january the 1st. you will see an immediate cut in your take-home pay. >>> the senator from idaho is apologizing for being arrested over the weekend. senator michael crepo was charged with driving under the influence. he was pulled over early yesterday froms agoryia, virginia outside of washington. the senator says he is he is deeply sorry and will deal with the consequences. >>> charges could be filed as soon as today against a driver accused of striking several pedestrians in san francisco. one of the v
on the phone in a few minutes. >>> unfortunately, we deal with incompetent. this afternoon president obama whim wil set down with congressional leaders at the white house for a last ditch effort to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. the hope is both sides can agree to a compromise to prevent the economy from sliding back into recession. judging from the rhetoric on capitol hill, there's a long way to go. here's the day on the hill. >> if we go over the cliff we'll be left with the knowledge that could have been prevented with a single vote in the republican-controlled house of representatives. the american people i don't think understand the house of representatives is operating without the house of representatives. it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker not allowing the vast majority of the house representatives to get what they want. >> we're coming up against a hard deadline here, and as i said, this is a conversation we should have had months ago. republicans aren't about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the e
four days left and no deal in sight. that could change today, when president obama holds a meeting with all four congressional leader at the white house. we're not saying you should bet on it. let's bring in ron brownstein for "the national journal." >> good morning. >> good morning. we're talking about this whole idea of a fiscal cliff was absolutely not supposed to happen. >> this was a machine that the two sides built to give guy them more will power to do what they didn't want to do to begin with. which is compromise. they could not reach a deal to destabilize the federal government's long-term finances so they built this to put more pressure on themselves to reach a deal now. and even this does not seem to be enough to do it, to force them to make the difficult concessions that are required for the two sides to come together this is indignant of a broader problem we face of a red coalition and blue coalition that reflect very different visions of american and show less and less cooperation. we are looking at a dividing government for the next two years and more likely next fou
? then paradise lost. will president obama leave hawaii behind the day after christmas if a deal is in the works and the election hangover. new comments from one of mitt romney's sons that you might describe as puzzling. what do they really mean? and the gun battle rages on. new reports on why nothing may get done even after the sandy hook tragedy. >>> a massive tax hike and spending cuts -- republicans and democrats continue to point fingers in opposite directions, hinting that talks could go into the new year. >> are we going over the cliff? >> i believe we are, and i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. he senses a victory at the bottom of the cliff. >> we only have nine days left here. when are we going to get serious about actual solutions? i would welcome john to tell me. he says he wants a solution. give us one, john. >> meanwhile, president obama is spending christmas in hawaii where he and the first lady attended the holiday memorial service for the late u.s. senator from daniel inouye. >> white house correspondent kristen welker. kristen, obviously
cliff, talks on hold until after christmas and president obama and house speaker john boehner have not spoken since friday. lori: is there any hope for a deal? are you the last man there? >> a staff is here. the staff is in this but all eyes are on the senate when it returns this thursday to try and get a deal to avoid getting off a cliff the past friday before the president left for the holiday, he proposed a limited measure to avoid all of the cliff when speaker john boehner plan b. got scuttled. the president wants to extend the bush tax cuts and avoid some of the deep spending cuts. white house spokesperson says discussions continue between the administration and capitol hill. in july you may recall senate democrats passed an extension of the middle-class tax codes for the year. those folks making less than $250,000 per year at a cost of 157 billion. also passing the alternative minimum tax for $92 billion. mitch mcconnell is critical to hammering out a deal because he can filibuster any legislation, but his spokesman told me this morning nothing new to report. we don't know wh
optimistic, at least president obama does. do you think we're any closer to a deal at this point? >> i think there's no doubt that we are closer to a deal, but how much closer we'll know probably in the next 24 hours. it's interesting because in the last 20 hours, the silence that had pervaded capitol hill was completely changed after the president and the four congressional leaders he met with all announced that they're shifting negotiation tactics now to a group of two. two senators, mitch mcconnell and harry reid, the two party leaders in the senate, are going to be trying to find a way to get a deal today. we know their staff is talking. we don't expect actually any necessary meetings between those two leaders right away today. we think that their chiefs of staff are going to be on the phone, via e-mail. this reported from our producer, ted barrett. perhaps tonight they'll see if the leaders can sit down and get together something to present to their various caucuses. now as i said, it was silent until yesterday. then we heard many people speaking. again, we heard from president obama th
're nowhere near a deal. i think i have this figured out. president obama came back from hits vacation saying let's see if we can get something together, knowing very well that they can't. the house and senate are so far apart, neither one will even entertain the idea -- >> juliet: so why have a meeting? >> eric: you look like you're trying o do the right thing. these bush tax cuts will expire december 31, 72 hours from now, whatever the number is. if president obama comes back in january sometime and says, you know what, house republican members, i have an idea. let's lower taxes 'cause they went back up. let's lower taxes back to where they were last year for the people making under $250,000 a year and let's call them the obama tax cuts. it looks like he's the tax cutter and if you're a republican in the house, you go, wait a minute, i'm supposed to be for lower taxes. how can i vote no for lowering taxes on anybody? >> kelly: you allude to a very important point to why critics of this entire mess have gone on to say that perhaps president obama knew that he wanted to have a fiscal cliff, f
allen poe's purloin letter, hidden in plain sight, what is the deal? why is it that republicans are so bitterly opposed to president obama? is it his race? is it his youth? is it his party? what is it that has aroused such deep and bitter suspicion and resistance to this man? >> well, i think it's some of all of the above. it's also that president obama came into office at a time when we desperately needed government, an active government. remember, the economy was going off a cliff. a real cliff. and not a symbolic fiscal cliff. i mean, but it was a real economic cliff, over which we had no control at all. he took the reins and prevented another great depression. we had a very, very deep recession and we are still in the gravitational pull of that deep recession, but a lot of conservative republicans, many of whom had been elected in 2010, they looked at what president obama had done with regard to the stimulus package, and everything else, and they said, this is simply too much government. we hate government, we don't want government. and we were elected on a very ideological platfor
to michelle obama." what a great idea. i wish you the best of luck with this book and merry christmas. >> merry christmas. >> thanks so much. >>> ahead on "starting point," eight days left to make a deal. does president the obama want to go off the cliff? why some say that's been the plan all along. we will talk to grover nor kwift, president of americans for tax reform top of the hour. this holiday, share everything. share "not even close." share "you owe me..." share "just right." the share everything plan. shareable data across 10 devices with unlimited talk and text. hurry in for a droid razr m by motorola for $49.99. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone deserves the gift of all day pain relief. this season, discover aleve. all day pain relief with just two pills. this season, discover aleve. excuse me, sir i'm gonna have to ask you to power down your little word game. i think your friends will understand. oh no, it's actually my geico app...see? ...i just uh paid my bill. did you really? from the plane? yeah, i can manage my policy, get roadside assistance, pretty much access geic
scrambles to avert the fiscal cliff. >> president obama asked congressional leaders to convene at the white house today. >> if the president and lawmakers cannot reach a deal economists warn that could trigger another recession. >> are they going to avoid the fiscal cliff, eric? >> the gulf war general known as stormin' norman has died. gen malnorman shwards cop of dread the coalition that drove saddam hussein's forces out of kuwait. >> the monster storm system finally moved out but some are bracing for another round of snow. >> more than 14,000 longshoremen are planning to strike on sunday the walk-out could affect ports from boston to houston. >>> for the second time this month a man has been pushed to his death in the path of a new york subway train. >> crazy people running the streets. >>> an uninvited guests slithered into a backyard in florida. >> somebody else got the shower on the sideline. >> jamal crawford who i think should be an all-star coming off the bench is dangerous. be still. >> and all that matters. >> hillary clinton plans to go back to
affect a week from now. a moment this week, the two sides seemed on the cusp of a deal. that would have involved at least one major concession from president obama. to cut social security benefits. the cuts wouldn't have been direct. they would have come from a tweak to the way the social security benefits are calculated. here's how it works. right now the amount of money a retireee gets from the government gets is changed due to the index. when inflakes goes up, social security recipients see their payments go up the same amount to keep up with the cost of living. obama proposes switching to "chained cpi. "the name is opaque but the name is simple. the chained cpi rises more slow lie than regular cpi. if you yoois chain cpi to calculate social security benefits the amounts of the social security checks will rise more slowly, as well, against inflation. for about two days, this major concession opposed by many progressive lawmakers seemed close to becoming law until jeanne boehner walked away from the deal and tried to yankee laterally pass his own bill which he called, somewhat weirdly
their profits. >>> president obama's in hawaii today where he and the first family will spend christmas. but the president says he will return to the white house after the holiday to continue working on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. joining me now, white house editor from politico, rachel smolkin. good to see you. >> good to see you. >> holiday red there, rachel. i will begin with you. is there any realistic timetable where a deal gets done beforian 1? look at the calendar. >> there's a realistic timetable but not an optimistic timetable. not a lot of holiday cheer going on in the nation's capital. after the stunning is heback speaker boehner suffered this week in the house where he could not get his own plan through. had to pull it and because he didn't have the votes. we saw president obama acknowledge yesterday before leaving for his vacation that the deal would -- would dramatically narrow. the parameters of a deal, scope of any possible deal, much smaller than we were looking at even a week ago. he said he would still be open to the big deal but the reality is we are running ou
. the market doesn't seem to care. >> all the big deal, boehner and obama tried to do last year, still have to do that, simpson boles-type thing. >> by what the secretary of the treasury said yesterday. >> right. >> thank you for being here. >> bromance. a lot of fun. make sure you join us tomorrow. "squawk on the street" begins right now. >>> good thursday morning, welcome to "squawk on the street" live from the new york stock exchange, i'm carl kin ten nia with melissa lee, cramer and neighborer are off today but we are joined by dennis. good morning to you dennis, thanks for coming in. futures today, a lot to deal with as you probably know. the fiscal cliff headline watch continues. you just heard john kanas say the market not too concerned. futures up 21 points. decent data out of europe, we will talk about in a minute what a day for the asian markets again. also coming up. our road map begins at andrews air force base where the president arrives in a couple of hours, cutting his hawaiian vacation short to address the fiscal cliff s there really any hope in the last attempt? does the ma
are doing about it. have a look. president obama spending christmas eve on the links in honolulu with friends. while lawmakers relax at home for the holidays. right now the senate looks like it might be the only hope for a compromise deal. can a deal be struck? white house correspondent brianna is traveling with the first family in honolulu, hawaii. hey, brianna, good morning. >> good morning, to you, it's been many silent nights actually in washington these days. not because there's nobody there to sort of figure out what's going on with the fiscal cliff but also, because folks really aren't talking. we know the white house is talking to senate democrats as we look to the senate as he reconvene on thursday, really, the last-ditch effort to try to do something. as of yet, congressional democrats in the white house are not talking with congressional republicans. that's even at the staff level. what we're expecting now is that the senate majority leader harry reid will try to get something together to get republican support in both the house and the senate. but what they're looking
had the votes anyway. whatever deal he would have struck with the obama administration assert he has failed and would not have been able to get sufficient votes or he would have relied so heavily on democratic votes to do so that he ran the risk of an insurrection. there is a meeting during the whole showdown over the debt ceiling in which some of honor's closest allies that in the speaker's office and said to him, john, if you come back with the teal the fashion with obama that doesn't get more than 100 posts or so, canters already started a whisper campaign against you. we saw it happen with speaker gingrich and it can happen to you. honor took that to heart and what are they from the deal shortly after that. >> interplay between the leadership of the public site, but i have to ask this based on what she said. the president was initially not the record interview to "the des moines register" editorial board seeking an ultimately did not get endorsement of that paper. one of the things he said was deeply cheap to get hit a grand bargain struck on the debt ceiling if he were reelected
of obamas remarks is he still would like to get a deal done. we want to hear what you think. you have the phone numbers on the screen. if you are republican call 202- 585-3885. andocrats, 202-5853886 z independents 202-585-3887. meet your tv. -- mute your tv if you call in. the president is optimistic that the senators will reach an agreement in time. let us hear from curt from akron, ohio on the democrats' line. >> hello. good evening. i called on the democratic line only because i voted democratic but i have some reservation about this president. when it comes down to it, i have a couple of points. everybody across the board needs to have a 15% increase in what they paid for their health care. to help lower the cost of health care from president obama down to the medicaid recipients. that needs to be first. this whole idea of messing around with getting this done, not doing this during the election and waiting days before the fiscal cliff where we go off. the president should have held what i would call a slumber party and have him, the congressional leadership, and the cabinet lock
boehner and barack obama and many people who know these two men feel perhaps they could have a deal. we think to the budget and debt ceiling debacle. neither john boehner and to some degree mitch mcconnell have the ability to go back to their caucuses and get them to rally behind a deal they make. has that changed or does this change as we get closer to the deadline? >> i think it will change closer to the deadline. it will require the leaders to talk to their caucuses and talk to these individual members of the senate and the house of representatives and understanding and underscoring the peril we place in the country at this moment in time and that we have to resolve these issues. american people should not count on a stalemate. we're here to do our jobs in washington and we're seeing this failure demonstrated time and again because of ideological and political and philosophical stubbornness. what about the entire country? what about the good of the country? that's what's at stake for america, and i think that members of congress individually and collectively are responsible and the l
both bushes and of mr. obama. host: and what does this have to do with the senate negotiating a fiscal of deal? caller: let me tell you something. if you go to the website listed on the left and upper side, united states -- each tax coming out of each state is going towards the or. -- war. i believe all of these politicians, mayors, governors should take a half cut pay to pay down the deficit. host: we are going to move on to darwin on the line for independents. caller: it is like the pentelikon, back in 1968 i was even fighting with the pentagon over budgets. you always had to have everything kept the same. nobody was going to change anything because next year there were going to pop everything by 10%. they told you got to worry because you would get 10% more. that goes all the way back to 1968. they just keep dwelling on one thing over and over again. i would like to know from the boston globe or the herald is asking for pictures of -- host: let's move on to del on the line for democrats. caller: this is an outrage that they cannot tax the wealthy by an additional 4%. this is the low
delay some spending cuts but it would not touch president obama does think this plan would pass both the house and senate if it got an up or down vote. he told the senate they had a day or two to make a deal on their own. if they're not making any progress he wants both chambers to bring this plan forward for up or down vote. speaker boehner apparently was noncommittal to that idea. it's important to point out that the debt ceiling is not a part of this plan c. that is still going to have to be dealt with separately later on. >> juliet: thank you, peter. >> dave: moderately optimistic. >> juliet: we are moderately optimistic about the weather. one-two punch comes as people are still digging out from past week's snow storm. >> clayton: preparation press still underway. stacking up on salt and sand. they have been presalting some of the roadways. >> dave: i hope so. maria my lien in for for rick this morning. good morning, maria. >> good morning. good to see you guys. good morning, everybody. we have another storm system first alert forecast to bring more snow to the northeast today. t
the past year. that's likely to continue. even if we get a deal, what does this mean? it's a minimalist quick fix. it's not a debt and deficit grant grand bargain solution which obama and boehner were talking about weeks ago and it's probably not going to involve solving the debt ceiling problem. and, of course, we all saw what happened 18 months ago over the debt ceiling. it dragged on and on. bottom line, whatever happens in the next few days, markets, corporate america and consumers in america are probably going to have to deal with continued fiscal wrangling' in washington for weeks and weeks and weeks. >> we're going to talk more about the fiscal cliff and later on in the show. just coming back to europe for a second or touching on europe -- >> even more boring. >> because i'm quite looking forward to next year and i'm looking forward to hoping that we're not going to be sitting on politicians the same way we have over the last year, two years, looking at every single line that comes out of therefore mouths. i'm hoping we're going to see march of a sense of normality coming back in
debt ceiling. a fight that obama should not want to have. it's interesting to me if he doesn't act in the next couple of days with what charles calls a generous deal he gets himself in to really unstable waters, economically. something we have never seen before. then we look at the global waters rattling toward real default, not the january 1 cliff. republicans would be blamed initially but he would be blamed ultimately. >> this argument and is so ethereal with the numbers baptered back and forth they can't grasp it. one component is the farm bill that expires at the end of this lame duck session if it expires and we go to 1949 formula for calculating milk price supports. back in 1949, most cows in the country were milked by hand. what it ostensibly means for you is gallon could cost $6-$8. citizen against government waste says it's cornucopia of wasteful, silly programs that many wish should be allowed to die. the statement goes op and on. what is going to be the fate of the farm bill? >> good question. asnatetive wisconsin, i would like to see the dairy farmers do well. citizens
's the deal. these type of negotiations what we lost a $4 trillion opportunity when boehner and obama were at the table having talks prior to the holiday. what we're looking at really condensed timeline of $1.5 trillion. kay bailey hutchison and other senate republicans come to the table and said look, i'm more you let's get a deal done. this roadblock is more on, are we going to be willing to raise taxes. gregg: marjorie, "the wall street journal" had a fascinating look at the negotiations. they talked to a participant. let me just read you one passage. at one point, according to the notes taken by a participant, speaker boehner told the president, quote, i put $800 billion in tax revenue on the table for you. what do i get for that? the response from the president? you get nothing. i get that for free. that is not negotiations, is it, marjorie? >> well, but you have had similar deals made by democrats where they have come to the table said here's what we're willing to do. this will take bipartisan compromises. gregg: that is not bipartisan that. i get everything for free. >> in that same
president obama, some leadership from harry reid in the senate and i think maybe we can work a deal out. with doug everyone share as little bit of the blame here but i think right now we should pay attention to the senate and see if senate democrats will actually act. jon: you use ad interesting turn of phrase in the last answer. you said the president has talked about doing some entitlement reforms. doesn't everybody in washington acknowledge that entitlement programs, social security, medicare, so forth, are the big drivers of our nation's debt problem and are going to have to be tackled seriously? >> well, republicans ran millions and millions of dollars of ads against democrats when we actually did reform medicare as part of the affordable care act. we saved about $715 billion and that was a talking point for republicans over the last election. so, getting lectures from republicans on doing something on medicare is kind of ridiculous when the only thing that they have done on medicare is actually broaden a prescription drug plan over the last 10 years and made it bigger. jon: amos,
but little evidence there is late word of a meeting tomorrow between president obama and congressional leaders. the full senate reconvened today. the president ended his vacation in hawaii early, flying back to washington this morning. but he made no public statements. if there is no deal on a budget by new year's day, nearly every american will see a tax increase. we have two reports on the stalemate, beginning with nancy cordes on capitol hill. nancy. >> reporter: jeff, democratic aides tell cbs news that senate majority leader harry reid is ready to introduce legislation that would avert the fiscal cliff, but only if he gets assurances from republican leaders that they won't try to block it. that standoff is creating some tension on capitol hill that spilled on to the senate floor today. >> the senate will come to order. >> reporter: in the normally genteel senate, leader reid unleashed a tirade today about house speaker john boehner, accusing him of running a dictatorship in the house. >> speaker boehner is not willing to negotiate. we have not heard a word from leader mcconnell. n
's progress. >> president barack obama yesterday warning about the very real impact that fiscal cliff could have on this country's economy. prior to the president's statement, the gloomy outlook for a deal was evident on wall street. the dow fail 158 points or 1.2% to settle at 12,938. fifth straight day of decline on the street. i would like to bring in david nakamura of "the washington post" and david jackson of "usa today." how conscious are our leaders in d.c. of the ripple effect this could have and how conscious are consumers of what might be about to hit them? >> well, the white house is very conscious of it it. they may have the political advantage of this deal, but the fiscal cliff could tip the country back into a recession. consumers are worried they'll start to pick up on the news and once it hits their paychecks they'll definitely feel it. >> do you think the consumers are paying as close attention as we'd like to think that they are. i think they are even though it's holiday time and going back to businesses and i was at the white house when president obama had a series of bus
of all, we want to say merry christmas. >> president obama is cutting short his christmas break with the fiscal cliff looming large. >> the fiscal cliff gets closer. congress now has six days left to make a deal. >> aloha, hawaii. >> to my republican colleagues, the ronald reagan model is if you get 80% of what you want, that's a pretty good day. >> they were this close. they were this close to a solution. >> he's going to get tax rate hikes. >> are we going over the cliff? >> i believe we are. >> be republican and be conservative and pass a bill that cuts tax. >> boehner has no control over his extreme right wing faction. >> should anybody's taxes be raised at this point? answer yes or no. >> no. no. ♪ >> we begin as president obama and the senate head back to washington set for one last effort to avert the first fiscal cliff. aloha means good-bye for the president as he packs bound for the white house tonight. the president cutting short his vacation leaving michelle and the girls behind as he gets back to work to try to prevent tax increases and spending cuts due to begin n
. >> and it has some great names. looking forward to it. on my list, as well. >>> president obama's christmas vacation will be over in a matter of hours. we'll have the latest inside information on whether he'll get a deal or more frustration when he arrives back here in the nation's capital. [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus presents the cold truth. i have a cold, and i took nyquil, but i'm still "stubbed" up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have a decongestant. no way. [ male announcer ] sorry. alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. [ sighs ] thanks! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth and save $1 visit alka-seltzer on facebook. make a wish! i wish we could lie here forever. i wish this test drive was over, so we could head back to the dealership. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. test drive! bu
it is not all that rare. kelly? kelly: jamie, thanks. right now president obama is cutting his vacation short to head back to washington and jump-start the fiscal cliff negotiations with congress. talks fell apart before christmas. the deadline now is just days away and there is no deal in sight to avoid the tax hikes and spending cuts set to go into effect january 1st. our juan williams is a fox news political analyst and he joins us today and very quickly, juan, merry christmas to you. >> merry christmas, kelly. kelly: this is daunting task facing congress to avert the so-called fiscal cliff that will set into motion more than $600 billion in drastic and draconian allic tax hikes and spending cuts. that will cause a lot of pain for all americans and does congress have enough time to act on this? >> they do. you know it will be very close and it may in fact go beyond the deadline per se although people are thinking at the moment it is possible to get something done by the end of this week. the key here, kelly, is the senate. we have been so focused on the house, speaker boehner, plan. about,
of the fiscal cliff now with nine days left to cut a deal. lawmakers are home for the holidays. house speaker john boehner, his plan b went bust. before leaving town president obama urged congress to pass a mini-plan that would preserve middle class tax rates. the president is now in his native hawaii for a quick christmas break. briana keiller joins us from honolulu. hello, briana. is this fiscal cliff deadline getting closer, what do we think will happen as the holidays rolls out here? >> reporter: well, there's one sort of last ditch effort possibility here, don, and that is when the senate reconvenes on the 27th, it's possible that either they could try to pass something and sort of force it on the house or it's possible that they could take a bill that they've already passed back in july with the threshold of those tax hikes being at the $250,000 level and that they could kind of say to the house, okay, now the ball is in your court. you have to deal with this, but it's still very much a possibility, don, that this doesn't work out, that we go over the fiscal cliff, and that was reflecte
itlowt.com. [ laughs ] hey! ncht >>> let me finish tonight with this. i have high hopes for president obama's second term. i have rying hopes for the reasonable republican party out there in the real world and ak churly deals with the real work of being big state governor, for example. so here we go. we've got to do something about guns, especially keeping guns from dangerous people. we have to do something about ir iran, yes, we have to. and we have to do something
. seinfeld. >> seinfeld. >> all right. president obama meets with top congressional leaders this afternoon with time running out to avoid the cliff. the house will be back in session on sunday to try to deal with the issue. we haven't had enough time, you know, two years. when is the last time we had a budget? >> harry reid was just -- wasn't he great yesterday talking about mitch mcconnell and the republicans? no budget. >> and more than 14,000 longshoremen could go on strike this weekend because of a contract dispute. a walkout would close cargo ports. some estimates say a strike could cost the economy $1 billion a day. which would add up. it would kind of counteract the 85 billion. but bernanke is doing 2 billion a day, right? >> more. >> 2.5, yeah. so that would take away -- we could easily rachet it up. unless the printing presses overheat at that point. let's check on the markets this morning. the futures were indicated lower based on angst. there it is worse. it was down 40 earlier, not out 62. they were down 150 at one point. came back down to 18. we're somewhere. >> between there.
don't think it's a big deal that we have to work this weekend. >> it's not a big deal and you should all be working this weekend. listen, a few weeks ago it looked like speaker boehner and president obama were pretty close on a grand bargain. maybe not as big as should would hope. it looked like the president was saying, we'll raise that top rate and offer some entitlement reform. social security changes, cpi. some talk of raising the medicare eligibility age. now because of where we're at do you feel that the folks on the far right of your own party by not supporting the speaker have ended up undercutting their position and ultimately will get less of a good deal on issues they care about than they might have gotten otherwise? >> i think the country has missed a huge opportunity to solve the nation's problem and instead whatever comes out of the senate will be small ball, kick the can down the road. that's unfortunate because this is a big problem. i don't think the president and speaker were real close so i don't think my conservative colleagues have screwed anything up because the
this first four years of barack obama's first term. every single time fiscal issues come up and every single time he had to deal with republicans it has been the exact same routine where the president promises that he is very interested in deficit reduction and very interested in serious spending cuts. none of whichever materialize. but the class warfare rhetoric is always still there. he is always interested in raising taxes to feed his ever-growing and every ravenous beast of the government. here we are again. when i talk about this is no way to run a superpower, what i mean by that, every single time we get to the press miss and every single time our leaders wait until the exact last minute, i mean one thing to wait for it the last minute to buy christmas gifts for tomorrow. i see plenty of people running around new york city trying to buy gifts. another thing for the president and congress to wait until the last minute on fiscal issues that affect every american, gregg and our long-term fiscal health. gregg: are you saying the president is disingenuous and duplicitous which would be nove
obama charged him and the majority leader to come up with a deal to troy to avoid falling over the fiscal cliff. want to bring in brian monroe, editor of cnn politics.com from san antonio, texas. brian, we all know what's at stake, especially that immediate 2% payroll tax increase in everyone's first paycheck of the year. it seems that the president used his bully pulpit to strongly encourage senators to get to work by sending a not so veiled message to themand their constituents. let's listen. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable. why everything always has to wait till the last minute. we're now at the last minute. and the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. not right now. the economy's growing. but sustaining that trend is going to require elected officials to do their jobs. >> o'brien, as we mentioned, you'
anyway, just to support the economy. because i enjoy it. >>> coming up, president obama heads back to the white house today to work on the ever looming fiscal cliff. can he cut a deal with republicans. >>> and david gregory may be in trouble of the law because of that ammo thing he has on his anchor desk. [ male announcer ] the more you lose, the more you lose, because for every two pounds you lose through diet and exercise, alli can help you lose one more by blocking some of the fat you eat. let's fight fat with alli. ♪ ♪ you make me happy when skies are gray ♪ [ female announcer ] you know exactly what it takes to make them feel better. ♪ you make me happy [ female announcer ] that's why you choose children's tylenol. the same brand your mom trusted for you when you were young. ♪ how much i love you [ humming ] [ female announcer ] children's tylenol, the #1 brand of pain and fever relief recommended by pediatricians and used by moms decade after decade. [ humming ] by the armful? by the barrelful? the carful? how about...by the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrit
or not all of our taxes go up. president obama and congressional leaders with trying to come up with this last-minute deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, the massive tax increases and spending cuts to take place in four days. the president and vice president will be meeting with house speaker john boehner, minority leader nancy pelosi, senate majority leader harry reid, and minority leader mitch mcconnell. and watching all this, jessica yellin live at the white house. jess, what do we think is going to happen here? >> reporter: well, based on the expectations around town, the thought is the president and democrats will lay out an alternative, scaled-down proposal. and there will be discussions about what could be in the details of a proposal they could vote on, in theory, this weekend. the ideal outcome would be all the members agree to the terms of that deal. and then the two senators in the room agree that they can get their parties to bring it to a vote with no one filibustering it. and then on the house side, speaker boehner would agree that he will put it on the house
. >> president obama doesn't see it that way. >> at some point there's got to be i think a recognition on the part of my republican friends, that you know, take the deal. you know, they will be able to claim that they have worked with me over the last two years. to reduce the deficit more than any other deficit reduction package. >> mohammed aladarin is the ceo of pimco and mark zandy is a chief moist at moody's analytics and joining me in studio is christine romans. the gdp for the u.s. grew at 3.1% over the summer. that's more than double the rate of the previous quarter. you can see the chart, it's been choppy, but it looks like we're going in the right direction. america's economy is gaining pace, doing better than expected. and we've been saying the 2013 could be the year of a real economic renaissance in the united states or at least the beginning of one. talk to me about the consequences to our prosperity if washington doesn't reach a deal. >> the consequences are not good. so what the numbers are telling you is that the private sector is healing. and if the private sector were
in making a deal to avert across the board tax hikes for 90% of american households. president obama on his way back to washington right now but not all the lawmakers are there and if congress and the president do not reach a compromise before january 1st many analysts say the economy will slide back into a recession. gregg: mike emanuel is live on capitol hill. mike, any indication of the president's next move? >> reporter: well, gregg, last time we heard the president talk about the this matter he said he was calling on congressional leaders to essentially make sure taxes do not go up on middle class americans. presumably that would be a package that continues the bush tax cuts for those making up to $250,000. he would also like to continue emergency unemployment benefits for two million americans. and beyond that, details are kind of murky at this point. so we await the president to get back to washington. we know that the senate will be back in session today. we know there have been some conversations back and forth but at this point no indication that steps have moved forward closer to
's in both sides' best interest to get this done. they want a two-year deal because no one wants to keep running on this stuff. and most importantly, to president obama, he has a state of the union and an inauguration speech to give. he wants to work on his legacy, not on this. >> so what -- you just said that the republicans really did just play right into the hands of the democrats. is that what you said? >> well, i think they fumbled the ball a little bit in their negotiations. i think, for example, even the optics of it, having president obama back in washington today, and having congress still out, is not the right message to end. people right now feel that the republicans are the party of no, that they are the ones causing this, they are going to get blamed. the fact of the matter is, is that they are doing the fiscal responsible thing here and that's where they can hang their hat. is that they have to hold on for deficit spending, and they still have the debt ceiling to hold in their back pocket if they need to. >> so what would, if you had been advising boehner, what would you ad
a great deal of concern and even suspicion that syrian government forces may actually resort to using chemical weapons. president obama has warned there would be consequences if bashar al-assad's military conducts such chemical warfare. does that mean the u.s. may possibly consider eve enacting some military option in syria? >> i think what people are looking at is whether the chemical weapons can be secured or destroyed in place. this is very, very dangerous. one could argue that we should have focused on the chemical weapons a longtime allege. the other risk of course is the chemical weapons get outside of syria, fall into the hands of al-qaida or other terrorist and be used worldwide. it was a very dangerous situation. the pope was absolutely right to call attention to it. >> obviously you've talked to a lot of people 0 behind closed doors in terms of what is happening in syria and the entire middle east. what is going on here? why can't something, some resolution be found in this conflict? >> politics tpha* in tha in that part of the world is a blood sport. it's an all or nothing
institute] by the way, merry christmas and happy new year. >> they debate the status of reaching a deal on the fiscal cliff. senator mcconnell mountains a phone call received from president obama while he was in hawaii. this is 15 minutes. >> you will excuse me if i am frustrated in the situation i find myself in. president obama, self and others and asked if there was something we could do to avoid in the fiscal clef. we have been asking the president and the democrats to work with us on a bipartisan agreement for months. a plan that would simplify the tax code, st. the deficit, protect the tax payers, and put the economy. democrats consistently rejecting the offer is. the president chose instead to spend time on the campaign trail. this was after he got reelected. a congressional democrats said on their hands. we have stepped away out of our comfort zone. we wanted an agreement. we had no takers. the phone never rang it. here we are five days after the new year and we might finally start talking. democrats have had a year to put forward a balanced bipartisan proposal. if they had some
of the cards. >> gretchen: it's interesting because you've made huge deals in your life so you would know what it is to sit at the table and get something done. do you blame only president obama or are you also blaming john boehner to a certain extent? >> i guess you have to blame everybody. i didn't like the fact that they went in for a vote the other day and didn't have the vote. that didn't look good for anybody. and it certainly didn't look good for the republicans. the democrats loved it. but that was a momentary -- that was just a time in place. look, the republicans are sitting there with a nuclear weapon, so to speak. they have debt ceiling coming up. they can use that as part of this negotiation. and they should. and they shouldn't settle unless the deal is a great deal for this country. not for the republicans or democrats. unless it's a great deal for the country. we have to straighten this country out. this country is a mess. and we have no leadership and we have to straighten it out now and stop talking. whether they go on vacation or not, not good. sends a bad signal, but we hav
's retiring, doesn't have a lot of the political pressures that others have. she said let's make a deal. her prediction, probably the right one, they're going to go home. suddenly once it passes, obama wim introduce his own package which will look like what he's proposing now, and they'll have nothing to do but accept it or else they'll get blamed for everything. >> can you recall a time in your life when you were aware of politics that encompasses, what, a couple of years, at least? a comparable level of incompetence in washington? >> the only thing i can think of is the last four years. i actually spent some of the time over the holidays for my sins reading bob woodward's book. and my overall reaction to all this is groundhog day. it's the same exact issues, some of the same players, same cautions of spending, entitlements, taxation, debt celling, what have you, nothing has changed. so what's so depressing to me is we've had four years or longer to wrestle with these issues. there's virtually been no signs on progress. here we are now with two more self-imposed ceilings. and increasingly,
is interested in getting this deal? >> as dana pointed out, lots of house republicans would rather vote on something after the 1st than before. i haven't seen any indication from obama or the people around him that they are okay with going over the cliff. they really do seem to want to do something before the deadline. they seem desperate to do that. plenty of liberals say, go over the cliff. big cuts in the pentagon and big tax hikes. the white house, from all indications that i've seen, they don't want that to happen. they are scared of what could happen to the markets. >> why aren't they dalg dealing with boehner? dana, be go ahead. jumpb in here. >> i think they won their negotiating power once boehner last week failed. as dana pushed out, the only thing that can get boehner is to do something. >> reporter: i think that you're right when i said that democrats don't think that the president will have much political damage. that does seem to be coming more from democrats here in congress than in the white house. democrats here in congress feel that it's a win-win for them politically.
a similar debate in 2011 when we were dealing with the debt ceiling issue the first time around. and we dealt it with it in the last election. and the differences have always been that president obama has maintained that tax cuts should be allowed to expire for people making more than $250,000. mitt romney called for extending all the tax cuts fully. and making other changes to the tax code. but, you know, i mean, he wouldn't be in office right now anyway. so i think we would still be here talking about what to do come january 1. host: all right. david in maine on our line for independents. go ahead, david. caller: yes. i've been around for a few years and i've seen this coming since 1970. when revenue -- when wages did not go up, revenue doesn't come into the government. and when we constantly spend and promote money, shipment overseas, shipment job overseas, and we blame people like me on social security, you know we're elite on systems. excuse my language. host: david, we're going to leave it there. joseph rosenberg. guest: it is true right now that tax collections are at near histor
will happen. while we have not been able to the tax increases, i do not that out on me. they are dealing with a perception that somebody might accuse them of raising taxes. merry christmas, everyone. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> later, on friday, president obama met with harry reid and house speaker john boehner in been predicted to reporters that he would sign a bill before january, extending tax cuts for most americans. his brief remarks came as congress left without a vote on what would take effect next year. this is just under 10 minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. for the last few weeks, i have been working with the leaders of both parties on a proposal to get our deficit under control, to avoid tax cuts -- to avoid tax hikes on the middle-class. and to make sure we can spur jobs and economic growth. a balanced proposal that cuts spending, but also ask the wealthiest americans to pay more, a proposal that will strengthen the middle class over the long haul, and our economy over the l
be a messy 2013. >> any deal is likely to be limited. explain what that means. >> we've been hearing about the talks with president obama and speaker boehner athat they were looking at the grand bargain that would include tax increases and changes to social security, changes to medicare, cuts in defense spending potentially as well. we're talking $3 to $4 trillion in changes over years. now it's going to be modest and that may include changes to the tax code. but they're going to have to come back in 2013 no matter what and talk about changes in med sare and social security and address the debt ceiling as well. host: these are two comments and they reflect the frustration in the country. how is the bickering back and forth solving anything fplgt all government spending should be on the table for spending reform. and the other viewer says obama and the other i had yots until the white house are doing what they do best, talk. guest: right after the election we heard them say the election is behind us, we can put down our swords and get down to doing the country's business. that evaporated wi
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